Review by dead_assassin
Greatest Ninja Gaiden Game STILL To This Day!
Every now and then, we look at a game that still exists today, then we take a trip down memory lane and we look back where a game series all started. Looking at the insanely hard yet insanely awesome Ninja Gaiden Sigma games, I guarantee so many of the younger gamers have no clue this series started back in the late 80s. Probably right when some of these gamers were born. Spawning 2 direct NES sequals on the NES, then being ported to other systems like the Sega Genesis, Ninja Gaiden has come a long way. But for those of us that were there from the beginning, we know how great this game was. I remember as a kid, how amazed I was with this game. Growing up during the NES era of games and getting my NES on the Christmas of 1987, NES became my life. And when I was lucky enough to go to a video game rental store and come across this game, I was totally blown away.
First thing's first, to truly enjoy a game like this, to appreciate it for what its worth, you must treat it like any other great NES classic. For the times, obviously, the graphics were great but in no way comparible to today's standards. But with that being said, this game has a certain magic to it. I remember running to my friend's house everyday after school or early mornings before school, running as fast as I could, not wanting to miss a single second of this awesome gameplay. We would pop this sucker in and would would play as long as we possibly could. When I started playing this game, I had so much difficulty in stage 2-2 and the sword throwers would constantly knock me off the platforms. It was then when I learned how to officially swear. The game would kick your ass at how hard it was, but it kept you coming back for more. So many elements of this game are so hard to describe, its just one of those games you come across where you just know its good and you dont have to explain it.
As basic as the whole concept is, a young ninja coming over to America after finding a letter written by his father, wishes to seek answers and some revenge. Your typical side scroller with basic controls. A jumps, B swings sword. You can leap from wall to wall, and what I didnt know then but years later figured out and perfected, you could leap upward on the same wall by jumping off then quickly back on to the same wall, some refer to this as "wall climbing" and it makes the game a heck of a lot easier. You go through the levels, battling enemies, until you reach the boss at the end of every stage. Each boss getting harder and harder, naturally. You fight your way through the game, learn of your father's secrets, the secret of the Dragon Sword and its history and the 2 demon statues you eventually come across and their significance. The amazing storyline just adds more thrill to the game. Now, on to the ratings.
Graphics: 10 (out of 10) Hey, like I said, I am not rating a PS3 or Xbox360 game here. When this game came out, it was every bit as good as any game on the market. And also, it adds to the "feel" of the game, knowing when it came out and the whole time period from which it was born from. The backgrounds are beautiful, a cave you run through which has white platforms and a purple background are gorgeous....I still find them appealing even after how far I have come in playing video games. The bosses look perfect. They are all much bigger than Ryu, but you appreciate this element of the game. It adds more fear and intimidation, plus it was the standard of gaming back then.
Sound: 10. Beautifully orchestrated. I even downloaded all of the tracks of this game. Even years and years later, even after I havent even played the game in a long time, I found myself humming the theme of certain stages. The music throughout this game is the definition of classic NES gaming. There isnt much else to say, everything is perfect. Sword swiping, weapon sounds, you name it...its flawless.
Challenge: 10 HOLY CRAP is this game hard! By the time you make it to the last levels of the game, you are swarmed with countless enemies which will knock you all around and either deplete your health quickly or knock you right off the screen. The end bosses are ridiculously hard. Jaquio still kicks my butt to this day, and unless you learn and master his pattern of attack, his fireballs will follow you around and continually hit you until you are dead. And guess what, when you die YOU START FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE LEVEL. This game is frustrating beyond belief, but its so good that it keeps you playing. You get mad, but you love this game so much that you wanna keep playing, and you wanna beat it. Certain jumps in this game may seem impossible, like you have to jump to a platform and there is a guy with a machine gun firing at you and you cant jump over him or in front of him. Flying enemies constantly knock you out of the air in the middle of your jump and send you into the bottomless pit. This game is brutal, but I still love it!
Fun Factor: 10. I have played this game since it was released, I still play it, and I always will play it. I will NEVER get tired or bored of this game. When I have kids one day, if I decide to, I want them playing this game. I want their kids playing it. This is one of the best original games ever made and it defines the word "classic" perfectly. In the dictionary under "classic" there should be a picture of the Ninja Gaiden cartridge.
So with all that being said, if you are bored of your PS3 or Xbox360 or whatever you have and if you can find a way of playing this game. If your dad still has his NES or if you know anything about ROMS or Emulators, find this game and play it. I refound mine at a flea market for $3 and needless to say, I was thrilled about that. Its not going anywhere again and I will keep this game forever. If you even havent played it, you really should. And if you are like me and have played it many times and havent in a long time, dig this game up and relive some old memories. The era of classic NES gaming, where most of us grew up. I consider it the golden age of gaming, when video games had gotten really good. The sequal, Ninja Gaiden 2 is totally awesome. It has more moves, ninja ghosts you can have follow you (which, for fun, I always considered them the spirit of Ryu's father from the original game) more weapons, etc. You get the idea. And Ninja Gaiden 3 is very different entirely. Not to say its a bad game, but its insanely more challenging and has a different feel to it, like it was made by a different company entirely. But look into these games, especially the first. If you find the game sucks, then you have poor taste in gaming and cant be open minded to games without next-gen graphics.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Ninja Gaiden (US, 03/31/89)
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